The Internet may have been dominated by men in its early days, but now more women than men go online in the United States and it is a trend that is likely to continue, according to a new study.
An estimated 97.2 million females above the age of three use the Internet in the United States, constituting 51.7 per cent of the total online population.
In 2011, 109.7 million US females will go online, amounting to 51.9 per cent of the total online population, according to research by eMarketer.
According to the study, females, especially adult women, are more likely to use the Internet to get things done, rather than to have fun. Many adult women, busy juggling work with their relationships and child-caring responsibilities, don't have time to surf the Web for video.
The study reveals that 66 per cent of online females in US watch videos online, compared with 78 per cent of online males. The researchers said the disparity was because males tend to adopt new technologies more quickly than females, and have greater access to broadband, which is necessary to see video online.
By 2011 though, nearly 85 per cent of female Internet users will watch video online, eMarketer predicts, nearing the 88.8 per cent of online males.
Young women will help drive that trend. "Early data indicate that female teens are as enthusiastic as male teens about online video," says Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the report.
"For girls who have grown up with technology there is no significant gender gap in Internet usage, and the rise of activities that are particularly appealing to young females, such as social networking, will result in even greater usage," she said.